ALAMOGORDO — The Pipe Hitters Union, a local motorcycle club, hosted their third annual Rev. Bobby Tekell Memorial Run that raised $5,000 for an Alamogordo girl undergoing cancer treatment.
The run was held on July 16 and took participants through the mountains in Cloudcroft and ended at the American Legion Post 34. On Wednesday evening, the Pipe Hitters Union presented the profits from the run to the Beach family.
"It was one of the most awesome experiences that I've ever had," said Sergeant-At-Arms Alex Vargas. "We got the boys together and rode down to their business, First Street Carpet and Tile, and we sat around for a second and talked to the family. Kylie wasn't as scared of us as she was the first time we met her, so she came over and gave us hugs."
Kylie was diagnosed with a Wilms' tumor earlier in the year. It took almost nine hours to remove the tumor as well as one of Kylie's kidneys. After surgery, Kylie went through seven days of radiation and 28 weeks of chemotherapy. A Wilms' tumor is a malignant or cancerous tumor of the kidney that occur in young children.
"She put on the little vest that we made her, which I thought was cute," Vargas said. "Kylie sat on one of my boy's bikes and we surrounded her as best as we could. The family was just completely floored by the fact that we raised $5,000 for them. Kylie was so cute and when we were presenting the check, I asked 'OK, who wants money?' and Kylie was the first to raise her hand and had a big smile on her face."
He said it was a treat to be able to present the money to the Beach family, in the midst of the tragedy the Alamogordo community has been dealing with since the loss of Alamogordo Police officer Clint Corvinus.
"It was a rainy and gloomy day (Wednesday) and we've had all this stuff going on," Vargas said. "The Beach family was a ray of sunshine. All my guys were so happy, even though we rode there in the rain, went home in the rain and everybody was tired from working that day. As soon as Kylie came out, nobody was tired, sore or grumpy because of the rain – nothing else mattered after we found out that Kylie's doing alright and is done with her chemotherapy."
He said he wants the community to know the people in motorcycle clubs aren't bad people.
"We're not evil people," Vargas said. "We are all members of this community. We all live here, we all work here and we come together to not only have our fun and ride our bikes but to give back as much as we possibly can."
The annual Rev. Bobby Tekell Memorial Run was started three years ago after the chapter president's father had passed away from cancer. Initially the fundraising effort was started to help their chapter president while he was undergoing treatment. Every year since, the club has tried to chose a local cancer-related charity to benefit.
"We're trying to take care of our own here," Vargas said. "To me, that's what it's all about."